Georgia senators pass bill to require ID for absentee voting

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ATLANTA (AP/WSAV) — Georgia senators are pushing through the first of what could be a raft of restrictive voting measures.

Republican lawmakers say the bills will safeguard voting. But Democrats decry the measures as based on a lie and aimed at overturning Democrats’ recent electoral success in Georgia.

Senate Bill 67, which passed 35-18 on Tuesday, would require a voter share their driver’s license or other identification number when applying for a ballot.

The person could also send a photocopy of the identification.

The numbers would replace signature verification, which was attacked by former President Donald Trump and others following Trump’s November loss in Georgia.

Many Democrats say these bills add road blocks and disenfranchise voters.

“I do know that it is critical that whether you are a Democrat or Republican, voting is already safe and everyone loses if it’s harder to vote in Georgia,” said State Rep. Teri Anulewicz (D-Smyrna).

On the other side of the aisle, many Republican lawmakers in support of the voting bills say these changes are neeted to stop voter fraud.

“We are protecting the poor, the poverty, those people who really get to vote,” State Sen. Ben Watson (R-Savannah) said. “You don’t want anyone that’s not legal.”

Georgia’s Secretary of State said audits found no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the recent presidential elections and Senate runoffs.

Lawmakers are pushing other bills that could limit the use of drop boxes, end Sunday voting and start counting absentee ballots 10 days prior to Election Day.

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